I picked up a copy of Les Stroud’s book Survive, and found it to be a very good read, so good in fact I’ve placed it into my keeper library of prepper and survival literature. There are a couple of reasons for it, one of which is that Les doesn’t dwell on the fast paced hype that many ‘survival gurus’ want to push.
This book is divided into 15 chapters, plus author notes and some good checklists in the back. Les starts out with chapter one being on trip planning and preparation. Funny, but a lot of so called experts usually gloss over the basics of trip planning, if they even address it at all. Of course, this just falls into the ADD method for your preparedness and survival planning, so it makes sense to start from the beginning. ADD: Analyze, Develop and Deploy. Works every time provided you follow the concept in full.
Seriously though, trip planning requires more effort than packing a bag and grabbing a map and compass. You have to develop your mindset, accept what you are and make sure others know where you’re going, and when you’ll be back. Preparation is one of the key elements to having a successful plan no matter what you are planning for a project.
The chapters themselves are set to examine separate needs and skills that you should be learning, if you already haven’t done so, to survive any incident that leaves you in a position that most of us would rather not be caught up in. Survival skills are best demonstrated as being the result of proper planning, and each of these chapters need to be gone through as first; separate subjects, and secondly; as an intertwined, comprehensive philosophy. Everything you need to possess by way of knowledge can only be acquired by learning and practicing what you have learned.
I won’t go into a detailed description of each chapter here. I tried, but the piece simply grew into a book of its own discussing each of these points and ideas presented by Les Stroud in this book. Suffice it to say, I paid $19.99 for the book, but you can get it cheaper by shopping around, but no matter what you eventually pay, it’s worth the cost for this extra voice in your planning regimen.
The chapters in this book are;
1; Trip Planning and Preparation
2; Survival Kits
3; Psychological Aspects of Survival
9; Survival Travel and Navigation
10; Dangers and Hazards
13; Survival First Aid
14; Essential Survival Skills
15; When Disaster Strikes Close to Home
One of the things I like about this volume is the way Stroud looks at an issue from varied viewpoints, such as in chapter 9, where he addresses the issue of traveling in a survival situation. Most writers have one opinion or another, they stick to it, and they fail to examine both sides of that same issue. This chapter looks at the question of “should you stay or go” and looks at the pros and cons of both aspects.
From tips on navigation, fire starting, sheltering and more, I think you’ll find the entire book a worthy read if you are really serious about learning to survive when the crap hits the fan. If you’re into the hype part of surviving the coming times, you won’t be satisfied with it. Les Stroud doesn’t discuss end time scenarios, but real world survival skills.
Les Stroud: Survive
Published by Collins
List price $19.99